Can She Say That? Women Creating Civility Online
The Can She Say That? Women Creating Civility Online panel was hosted by Jane Fleming from Court Five, Nuala O’Connor from Center for Democracy & Technology, and Rebecca Fernandez from Red Hat Inc.
How can we have civility online when we don’t even have civility in person?
Jane Fleming opened the panel by stating that women gets interrupted more than men and us women need to speak up for our peers when they are interrupted. It goes without saying that there is a lack of women in Hollywood and even more behind the camera making decisions.
“Diverse creators and diverse representation on screen has a long way to go. Number of women on screen hasn’t changed since the 1940’s,” Fleming stated. She then went on to explain that we need to focus on getting women working and “if you don’t have diverse voices on camera, the storied we are telling aren’t going to change.” It is staggering to see that the numbers across the board are 25% or less in the creation of media in film. So far the success of products made for and by women has been economically successful but it will take about five years before we are able to see if it made a difference.
When Fleming was asked by O’Connor about her feeling of blocking online haters, Fleming believes that you are toeing a line by blocking them online and she would rather be open and hear what they have to say instead of shutting them down and blocking them out.
Fleming also believes that more and more people are starting to not be anonymous online and that is bringing civility back. Fernandez also believes that once you could comment on Facebook articles with your connected Facebook account, you could really start to see the type of person you were friend with online.
As the panel went on the conversation shifted toward the current political climate and that the current climate has brought out topics that aren’t safe to discuss anymore and are immediately shut down. “Change does not happen by shutting down conversation,” Fernandez stated.
“If you take away my voice, I’m going to find other ways to express it,” Fernandez said as well.
A common theme of the panel was voice and conversation. Even if you take away someone’s voice, it will pop up louder somewhere else. The more polarizing the topic is, the harder it is for people to sit back and listen.
Listen below for some advice on civility: